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Nervous - Case and commentary - Shingles

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 01-31-96 V. 7(4): 6-7

Patient: 74 year-old female with first outbreak of shingles. Overall health generally good. History in last year of severe inflammation of hips and shoulder following over-exertion. Shingles duration ten days, getting progressively worse. The pain interferes with sleep. Feels like needles being stuck in her. Spreads from right breast near sternum, under the breast, and around the back. New lesions each day, spreading gradually to the back.

Medications: Acyclovir (anti-viral) prescribed by a physician, and ice applications directly on the lesions per physician’s instructions.

Treatment: twenty drops each of tincture of echinacea, hypericum, and passiflora, three times a day in warm water between meals. Topical cream: commercial preparation containing L-lysine, Vitamins A, D, and E in natural base of olive oil, yellow beeswax, golden-seal extract (Hydrastis canadensis), propolis extract, Calendula officinalis extract, Echinacea angustifolia extract, Zinc oxide, cajeput oil, tea tree oil, gum benzoin tincture, honey, Lithium carbonate (3x homeopathic).

Follow up: 24 hours. She slept through the night for the first time in about a week. The topical cream gave good relief. She applied it to some lesions and not to others, and where she applied it there was marked improvement both in subjective symptoms and appearance.

Follow up: 48 hours. All symptoms improved. She stopped using the cream, even though it was working. Said she was afraid of suppressing the lesions, i.e. that she wanted them to drain.

Follow up: 72 hours. All symptoms further improved. Feels she is “over the hump” and getting better. RX: continue treatment while symptoms last.

Follow up: three weeks. Stopped all herbal treatments. Shingles still there. Reluctant to use natural treatments.
Copyright 2001 Paul Bergner    299